The San Diego Chargers played well in a 19-3 exhibition win over the Arizona Cardinals on Friday night, particularly on the defensive side of the ball. But the news coming out of the game wasn’t all good.
Tight end Jeff Cumberland and reserve offensive lineman Donavon Clark were both forced to leave the game with injuries, and both players will reportedly miss the entire 2016 season with torn ACLs.
Pro Football Talk reported the news on Cumberland, while head coach Mike McCoy has confirmed that Clark will miss the season as well.
McCoy confirms Jeff Cumberland and Donovan Clark are out for the year. Both carted off during game yesterday
— Marty Caswell (@MartyCaswell) August 20, 2016
Cumberland was signed as a free agent during the offseason after spending the first six years of his career with the New York Jets. His injury gives Sean McGrath the inside track to make the team. If the Chargers keep four tight ends, that decision will be between Asante Cleveland, Tim Semisch and Matt Weiser.
More from Bolt Beat
- LA Chargers: Drue Tranquill takes a jab at Gus Bradley’s defense
- LA Chargers second-year players: Nothing lose and a lot to gain
- LA Chargers: Why running back could be a big issue for the Bolts
- LA Chargers: Chris Rumph’s upside is Melvin Ingram-like, but better
- Chargers: Reggie Slater calls LA the “dream scenario” for Rashawn Slater
During the preseason, Semisch and Weiser have one reception each, while Cleveland has not caught a pass. It’s likely that the team elects to keep only three tight ends.
Clark, a seventh-round selection out of Michigan State, was in line to be the primary backup to D.J. Fluker or Orlando Franklin after having a solid camp to this point. His loss is a disappointing one, as it leaves the team with one less option on a unit that was easily the weak link of the team a year ago.
Players who should be given a chance to step up and shine in Clark’s absence are undrafted rookies Vi Teofilo and Spencer Pulley.